Good post from Matt Besler of the Illinois Opportunity Project.
Illinois has tremendous strengths. We are a state rich in agriculture, mineral resources and manufacturing. With road, rail and air, Illinois is a transportation hub. The state boasts outstanding universities and one of the world’s most vibrant cities. We are only held back by our public policies and the antiquated political processes through which they are instituted
The good news is Illinois’ problems are man-made. The damage can be undone by changing public policy, and returning checks and balances to state government. With independent, principled policymakers, Illinois can implement reform-focused legislation that will limit government and the power of special interests; legislation that will give individuals dominion over their own lives, and reduce burdens on businesses.
We advocate for such policies because we believe in the power of the individual to create opportunity and to overcome obstacles – even obstacles as great as those Illinois currently faces.
Matt links to the Amazon page for a booklet called Illinois, A Great Future.
It is hard to imagine that Illinois can, and should, and will have a great future.
The booklet lays out some of the reasons why we should hope for, believe in, and work for, a better future in Illinois.
But is is a marathon, not a sprint. And, to mix up the metaphor, whatever happens on Tuesday, it is just one round in a multi-round slug-fest.
[Full disclosure: I was the lead drafter on the booklet.]
[Jonathan adds: The pop-up that appears when you mouse over the “Illinois, A Great Future” link incorrectly states that the booklet is unavailable.]
16 thoughts on “The Comeback: Illinois, A Great Future”
Sounds promising. Nice website and well written posts. Now, if you can get your message to the people of Illinois…
“The damage can be undone by changing public policy, and returning checks and balances to state government.”
Oy ! And Hell would be nice if it only had a nicer climate.
Ditto for California except we have the climate and nothing else. Los Angeles has 9 million gardeners and maids available at minimum wage
You are going to have to disinfect your political system.
No one said it would be easy.
Of course, the bad guys are turning a state that should be a powerhouse into a gigantic Detroit.
At some point they will run out of money, the state will hit some kind of bottom, and we will rebuild from there.
I just hope there is no Federal bailout when it happens.
“At some point they will run out of money, the state will hit some kind of bottom, and we will rebuild from there.” This. You can be a partisan all you want, but you can’t fight or change the mind of math.
Keep an eye on the General Assembly the next couple weeks. The rules committee is scheduled to
vote on fracking in Southern Illinois. If Rauner wins, it’s not inconceivable that they’ll let the people’s decision for governor also stand for fracking.
The reason this is so important is that fracking could be the way out of the downward spiral. Other states have discovered that it’s a fast track to massive prosperity. It could be the biggest thing Illinois has seen since Chicago’s post-Great Fire boom.
I see your point about fracking but might that not be counterproductive? Pumping additional dollars into a corrupt, dysfunctional state apparatus looks like just kicking the day of reckoning down the road …
What data do you have to support the idea it will or even can be rebuilt? Can you point to anywhere that was as badly infected as Illinois and was able to turn its self around? It seems more likely to follow Detroit’s example of hitting rock bottom then starting to dig.
re fracking – As discussed in America 3.0, if that state can’t change, the southern part knows as “Little Egypt” needs to begin talking about breaking off. They have nothing in common with the Chicago thieves, and will eventually get tired of sending their money there via Springfield.
Dan is exactly right.
A couple months ago I was at a fund raiser for Rauner. It was in the back of a bar with a partisan crowd, so he was just giving us a rundown of his strategy rather than campaigning. He said that when he asked people downstate the most important thing they want, the reply was to secede from Cook County. It got a good laugh. He let it be known that no one can win statewide office in Illinois without winning a considerable number of Chicago votes, but it was a largely accurate sentiment of how people feel down there.
The fracking issue is front and center in the geographic divide. The Department of Natural Resources board members are from Chicago, and the director has been working for Quinn in one or another for a decade. The environmental groups opposing fracking are from Chicago and Champaign, far away from the fields.
If by some miracle Illinois could be turned around, then there truly is hope for most of the rest. It is beyond my human understanding what mechanism would cause that result. But, I’m not great at seeing future major shifts in reality.
Please help my unbelief!
Illinois may have to hit rock bottom, i.e. failing to make bond payments, or failing to make its government employee payroll, that sort of thing. But when it does, it is not Bangladesh, or a bombed out ruin. It is a Midwestern state with many advantages that have been squandered. The main thing is to make sure any such crash is a mass-extinction event for the current political leadership.
My downstate Illinois grandfather detested Chicago politicians. Guess he was on to something.
Yes America as a whole has tremendous and barely scratched [comparatively] natural resources in fantastic abundance.
The problem with getting rid of the elites who are holding us back is they may well be thinking along the same lines, and certainly seem to be working very hard to replace the people.
Now one side is advancing it’s cause with all it’s considerable power, and without regard to the precious rule of law [that is for the ruled, not the ruler. that’s normal of course].
The other blusters, does arm, begins to admit it’s plight and recognize the danger but nothing beyond that.
It’s all very well to speak of secession but the other side you know is actually seceding from us and importing our replacements.
Downstate IL is an economic basket case. Its economy is, basically, the State road program, State prisons, State universities and community colleges, and agriculture built on lies and subsidies that may not last and require political capital to maintain–corn for ethanol and soybeans for soybean oil that is now being found to be unhealthy. And some high-sulfur coal.
The Chicago suburbs, O’Hare, and the Chicago central business district carry the state–both the (rest of the) City of Chicago and downstate.
A bit over 60% of Illinois counties had a unemployment rate less than Cook County in September. This is a ratio that is usually pretty steady.
Chicago’s financial sector used to support the downstate raw material and manufacturing industries, but in today’s technologically advanced worldwide economy Chicago is only in business for itself nowadays.
Fracking was approved last week after Rauner was elected. We’ll find out the specific regulations this weekend. It’s hard to explain to people what it means when the genie is finally let out of the bottle, but they’ll be able to see it son enough.
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